By Jonny Long
Jumbo-Visma successfully defended Mike Teunissen's yellow jersey as they won the team time trial on stage two of the Tour de France 2019.
They posted a time of 28-57, averaging more than 57km/h over the 27.6km course, beating Ineos by 20 seconds with Deceuninck - Quick-Step third by less than a second.
Ineos had sat in the hot seat since the start of the day after being the first team to set off and having to wait until the last team, Jumbo-Visma, had crossed the line for their time to be bettered.
Both Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) lost just under a minute to Ineos' Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal after disappointing performances from their squads.
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) moves up to second in the overall classification, trailing Teunissen by 10 seconds.
How it happened
The 27.6km team time trial provided a quick course as a first test to the GC contenders, with all of the yellow jersey hopefuls looking to minimise any time losses in the first week.
Teams would head out of the Grand Départ city of Brussels towards one of it's most famous landmarks, the Atomium, originally constructed for the Brussel's World Fair in 1958.
Geraint Thomas' Ineos team were the first off the start ramp, after Jonathan Castroviejo finished 4-11 down on Mike Teunissen's time and Luke Rowe, Michał Kwiatkowski and Dylan van Baarle all finished at the back of the peloton on stage one.
They posted a time of 29-17, averaging 56.5km/h over the 27.6km course with Thomas leading them across the line. If Ineos' time proved to be the fastest of the day, Egan Bernal would be in yellow after he finished second behind Thomas and was the second highest placed Ineos rider on stage one. Gianni Moscon finished one place above Bernal yesterday but finished fifth in the Ineos train in the team time trial.
Astana finished 21 seconds down on Ineos, a time that hopefully shows Jakob Fuglsang's injuries following his crash on stage one aren't too severe and the Dane will be able to recover and challenge towards the pointy end of the GC.
Groupama-FDJ lost a rider who crashed in the run-in to the finish line but they posted a time only 12 seconds slower than Ineos, a big improvement on their team time trialling in previous editions, protecting Thibaut Pinot's GC hopes.
Another French hopeful, Romain Bardet, had his aspirations for the overall dented after his Ag2r La Mondiale team lost just under a minute to Ineos.
Movistar performed slightly better, going 45 seconds slower than Ineos, while Richie Porte's Trek-Segafredo outfit posted an almost identical to Ag2r La Mondiale, the Australian suffering a similar dent to his overall ambitions.
Katusha-Alpecin looked like they could be riding themselves into the hot seat, going four seconds quicker than Ineos at the first time check. Containing the new British time trial champion Alex Dowsett amongst their ranks, they were still a second up on Ineos at the second time check but eventually finished six seconds down at the finish line.
Sunweb put in a strong finish to place just ahead of Katusha-Alpecin, moving into provisional second place, while Simon Yates was dropped from the Mitchelton-Scott train 11km from the finish with the Australian team looking for a fast ride to protect the GC ambitions of his twin brother Adam.
EF Education First were just quicker than Ineos at the first time check but this advantage fell away as the American team eventually rolled across the line 28 seconds down.
Deceuninck - Quick-Step's team time trial pedigree was clear as they attacked the course as the third last team to set off. They took out a two second lead at the first time check and were still ahead by the second. As the Belgian outfit sprinted for the line it looked like they could set the new fastest time but narrowly missed out by less than a second.
Jumbo-Visma, with Mike Teunissen in yellow, were the last team to set off. With Tony Martin they were one of the pre-stage favourites and now the only squad left with a chance of displacing Ineos.
They were flying as they went across the first time check, 14 seconds faster than Ineos, taking out a further two seconds at the second checkpoint.
As they came into the finish, it became clear they would take their second stage win in two days, successfully defending Mike Teunissen's yellow jersey into stage three, beating Ineos' time by 20 seconds.
Tour de France 2019, stage two: Brussels to Brussels - TTT (27.6km)
1. Jumbo-Visma (Ned), in 28-57
2. Ineos (GBr), at 20 seconds
3. Deceuninck - Quick-Step (Bel), at 21s
4. Sunweb (Ger), at 26s
5. Katusha-Alpecin (Sui), at same time
6. EF Education First (USA), at 28s
7. CCC (Pol), at 31s
8. Groupama-FDJ (Fra), at 32s
9. Bahrain-Merida (Bah), at 36s
10. Astana (Kaz), at 41s
General classification after stage two
1. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, in 4-51-34
2. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma, at 10 seconds
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
4. Tony Martin (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
5. George Bennett (NZl) Jumbo-Visma, all at same time
6. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos, at 30s
7. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
8. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos
9. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos, all at same time
10. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 31s
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